THE PROPERTY: The Palo Amarillo Ranch is beautiful cattle operation lying along the Pecos River 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The ranch provides breathtaking views of the Canadian River Escarpment and the Sangre De Cristo Mountains lying to the north and west. The ranch is 7,483 deeded acres of land located about 1½ hours from Santa Fe and 2 hours from Albuquerque. U. S. Highway 84 runs north to south just two miles east of the ranch’s eastern boundary. A county road provides access as it goes west through the north end of the ranch from Highway 84. The centerline of the streambed of the Pecos River is the northern boundary of the Palo Amarillo Ranch; livestock, however, are fenced off of the river to keep them from moving away from the ranch, either up or down the river. Cañon Blanco, a beautiful sheer-walled canyon, runs into the Pecos River at the northwest corner of the ranch; and it is the western boundary of the ranch for several miles.
The Palo Amarillo Ranch was originally part of the old Anton Chico Land Grant, which was first settled in 1822. During World War II, the Federal Government carved from the grant 7,483 acres that is now the Palo Amarillo Ranch, to accommodate a grass landing strip for government aircraft during the war effort. After the war the land was sold, fee simple, by the government; and it became a private ranch. The landing strip, located in the center of the ranch, was reclaimed by native grasses; and it provides good grazing for livestock today.
LAY OF THE LAND: The southern 1/3 of the Palo Amarillo Ranch is made up of piñon and juniper covered hills that look down on the Pecos River valley and the small community of Dilia, New Mexico. Highway 84 runs through Dilia a mile north of the Pecos River. Views from the higher, southern end of the ranch are spectacular anytime of the year. The hills are underlaid with attractive sandstone rock that has been quarried and sold for building construction in the area and in Santa Fe over the years. The quarried areas are small and secluded and do not detract from the overall beauty of the hills.
From the hills the ranch gently slopes north toward the Pecos River. The land below the hills is comprised of open grassland parks surrounded by moderate stands of piñon pines and juniper trees. The north boundary fence runs along a bluff that looks down on the Pecos River, 20’ to 100’ below. The predominate forage grass on the ranch is blue grama; and secondary grasses include side oats grama, tabosa, little bluestem, and two cool season grasses that come out in early spring, buck grass and western wheatgrass. The Palo Amarillo Ranch is located in a 14” average annual precipitation belt. Elevations on the ranch vary from 5100’ along the Pecos River to 5600’ in the hills on the south end.
CATTLE OPERATION: The Palo Amarillo Ranch is particularly well suited for a year round cow/calf operation. Winters are normally mild in the area and the ranch is blessed with an abundance of winter cover from the canyons below the hills and the trees surrounding the grassy parks in the lower country. The ranch is fenced into 5 pastures that funnel into 3 traps located in the center of the ranch near the headquarter’s corrals. The ranch was lightly stocked in 2012 and the cattle were pulled off in the early fall in order to leave a good grass cover on the ranch. The Palo Amarillo Ranch in normal years should accommodate 120 to 130 cow/calf pairs plus bulls.
WATER: A strong submersible well at the headquarters of the Palo Amarillo Ranch pumps up into a storage tank located in the hills a few hundred yards to the south. From this storage tank, water is piped around the ranch to 13 livestock drinkers scattered throughout the 5 pastures and 2 of the traps. This same well also supplies water to the home at the headquarters and to the corrals. There are windmills with drinkers in the southeast and northeast corners of the ranch supplying livestock water to areas not accessible by the pipeline.
IMPROVEMENTS: A large, old hacienda-style home is located inside a massive stucco-walled compound at the Palo Amarillo Ranch headquarters. This home is presently not in livable condition, however, it appears, as they say, to have “good bones”; and a new owner might want to bring it back to its original grandeur. An attractive 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom log home was built by the owner in 1994. Much of its interior is finished in natural pine with pine log rafters throughout the home. Several types of fruit trees grow around the headquarters area.
An interesting old sheep shearing barn, in seemingly good condition, is used now for storage and as a shop for the ranch. Attached to the barn is a sturdy set of pipe corrals with livestock scales. Two 20’- and one 40’-storage container provide extra, water-tight storage for the headquarters.
WILDLIFE: Mule deer and wild turkey live on the ranch and throughout the area.
ADDITIONAL INCOME: A Federal Aviation beacon is located on 3 acres in the southeast corner of the ranch. A 10-year lease on the 3-acre site renewed in 2010 for $500 annually.
MINERALS: The owner is not aware of any sub-surface minerals remaining with the ranch, but will not reserve minerals in the conveyance to a new owner.
TAXES: Guadalupe County 2013 real estate taxes for the ranch were $3,297.30. It is our belief that the large, uninhabitable house on the property was inadvertently assessed as a livable residence; and we are working with the County to reassess the property, which should lower the taxes substantially.
BROKER’S COMMENTS: The Palo Amarillo Ranch with its rugged hills and gorgeous vistas of high mesas and mountains presents the quintessential view of ranching in New Mexico. The ranch is remote; however, as New Mexico distances go, it is not far from Santa Fe or Albuquerque. If you are interested in purchasing a ranching operation in the heart of New Mexico, we hope you will give us the opportunity to show you the beautiful Palo Amarillo Ranch.